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Wright Hugus

Lawyer and legislator

-- from The History of West Virginia, Old and New, Chicago: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1923 -- Vol. II, p. 227

WRIGHT HUGUS, an ex-serviceman and a prominent young lawyer at Wheeling is a son of the late Judge Thomas J. Hugus, who long enjoyed a position of special prominence at the bar of West Virginia.

Wright Hugus, Lawyer and legistlator

The Hugus family is of Holland and French descent, and was established in America shortly after the close of the Revolutionary war. The family located in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The grandfather of Wright Hugus was Jacob Hugus, who spent all his life in Tyler County, West Virginia, where he owned a large amount of farming land. The late Judge Thomas J. Hugus was born in Tyler County, West Virginia, in September, 1854, was reared there and completed his college education when he graduated A. B. from Marietta College in Ohio. Soon afterward he located at Wheeling, read law, and until his death in March, 1916, was busily engaged in his profession and for eighteen years of that time was judge of the Criminal Court of Ohio County. He was an active republican, a very earnest supporter of the Fourth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, and is remembered by his professional associates and fellow citizens as a man of exalted character.

Judge Hugus married Annie V. Wright, who is still living at Wheeling, where she was born in 1859. Her father, John Wright, who was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, came to Wheeling when a young man and was one of the founders of the LaBelle Iron Works. He married Eleanor Madden, and both died at Wheeling. The children of Judge Hugus and wife were: John W., connected with a large coal company at Washington, Pennsylvania; William T., a resident of Wheeling and manager of the Laughlin Mill of the American Sheet & Tin Plate Company at Martin's Ferry, Ohio; Arthur C., secretary of the Center Foundry Company of Wheeling; Eleanor. wife of Otto M. Schlabach, an attorney at law at La Crosse, Wisconsin; Anne, wife of Mason Britton of New York City; Wright and Miss Elizabeth, who is unmarried and lives with her mother at the old home at Elmwood near Wheeling.

Wright Hugus was born in Ohio County, West Virginia, November 8, 1890, attended the country school at Beech Glen, near Wheeling, later the Clay School, City of Wheeling, and graduated from the Wheeling High School in 1909. He finished his literary education in Dartmouth College at Hanover, New Hampshire, graduating A. B. in 1913. From Dartmouth he entered Harvard University Law School, received his LL. B. degree in 1916. Mr. Hugus is a member of the Sigma Chi college fraternity. He also belongs to the English VI Law Club. He was admitted to the West Virginia bar in the fall of 1916, practiced a few months before entering the war, and since his return has been busy with a growing practice, largely specializing in corporation law. He is attorney for the Wheeling Steel Corporation and has his offices in the Corporation Building.

On May 11, 1917, Mr. Hugus entered the First Officers Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, received his commission as first lieutenant of infantry, August 15th, and was then at Cambridge, Massachusetts, attending the School of Trench Warfare under the supervision of French army officers until October 1st. He was the transferred to Camp Sherman, Ohio, and assigned to the Three Hundred Thirty-first Infantry. He was made assistant division adjutant in February, 1918, and on June 8, 1918, sailed for France with Headquarters Company of the Eighty-third Division. He was assistant personnel adjutant of the Second Depot Division, A. E. F. and American Embarkation Center, until June, 1919, stationed at LeMans. Thereafter he was personal adjutant of the American Embarkation Center at LeMans until August 1, 1919, when he returned home and was mustered out at Camp Sherman, September 4, 1919, as major, Adjutant General's Department.

Mr. Hugus is one of the youngest members of the State Legislature, and yet during the session of 1921 was one of the most effective workers in that body. He was elected on the republican ticket to the House of Delegates in November, 1920. During the session of 1921 he was chairman of the military affairs committee and member of the judiciary, banks and corporations, railroads and enrolled hills committees. Mr. Hugus was responsible for the introduction and secured the passage of the hill reorganizing the National Guard of West Virginia. He also introduced a bill raising the age of consent from fourteen to sixteen years, and was prominent in the fight against the Gross Sales Tax Bill.

Mr. Hugus is a member of the Official Board of the Fourth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, is president of the Wheeling District Epworth League Society, a member of Wheeling Lodge No. 5, F. and A. M., is an eighteenth degree Scottish Rite Mason in West Virginia Consistory No. 1, and is a member of the Wheeling Country Club, University Club of Wheeling, vice president of the Wheeling Council of Boy Scouts, and president of the Wheeling Tennis Club.


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